The two prostitutes involved in the Wayne Rooney sex scandal made public apologies today to his wife Coleen.
Jenny Thompson, 21, and Helen Wood, 23, both gave interviews to Sunday newspapers following allegations they had sex with the England star while his wife was pregnant.
The women spoke out after Rooney escaped a hostile reception from his former fans after being left out of Manchester United’s side to face Everton yesterday.
The couple have faced a week of torrid speculation and newspaper headlines following lurid claims about Rooney’s private life.
They appealed for privacy, releasing a statement on Friday saying the “last six days have been extremely painful for us and for our families”.
Speaking to News of the World, Ms Thompson, who claimed that she regularly slept with Rooney, apologised to Coleen, mother of 10-month-old Kai, saying: “I’m very sorry for my part in this”.
She continued: “It’s a horrible thing to learn your husband has cheated on you. Particularly when you’re pregnant. I have so much sympathy for her.
“They have been together since they were so young but she is going to question everything now, their entire relationship.
“If it was me I would be devastated. It would tear me apart.”
Ms Thompson, whose parents Hamish and Dana offered their “most sincere apologies” to Coleen on Wednesday, also spoke of the effect of the lurid headlines on her family.
She said: “I have the best family in the world. It has been devastating for them. I feel very ashamed.”
Helen Wood, 23, told the Sunday Mirror: “I wish this had never happened. I’m sorry for all the hurt that you’ve been put through. It was a mistake. I can’t apologise enough. I’m sorry.”
The England striker was conspicuous by his absence yesterday as his United team-mates arrived at Goodison Park before kick-off, his name left off the team sheet.
Rooney, a boyhood Evertonian, was branded a “Judas” after leaving the club in acrimony, to go to United.
And with the allegations about his private life, he was set to face the wrath and ridicule of 40,000 home fans.
At least one protest was spoken of by Everton fans, with one campaign planning to throw black bin bags onto the pitch – in a reference to Rooney being thrown out of his house by his wife and taking his belongings in a bin bag.
The issuing of a joint statement suggests the pair are going to try to patch up their marriage.
In their statement, they said: “It is impossible for us, as it would be for any family, to attempt to resolve any issues in the current media glare and against the backdrop of so many inaccurate and intrusive stories.
“We would therefore ask that the media now respects our privacy and the right of our family to discuss these matters in private.”